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Oh No! But fear not...


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We can build her back...Stronger, Better, Faster.


This floor picture isn't the worst news I got today.  The frame rail is bent and cracked down by the pedal box.  Every problem I find is just an opportunity to make it stronger. I think she was moderately "tapped" in the front driver's corner. 


John in OK



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My guess is that the floor rust by the pedal box is the result of a long-term leaking clutch master cylinder.  It'll eventually fill the pedal box--it'll hold over a pint--(rusting it out too) if you keep adding fluid without checking where it's going.  


And the frame rail rust probably began from a leaking brake master cylinder.  It'll drip and run down inside that driver's side frame rail, eventually rusting it from the inside out.  I'll bet the crunch is from a jack being used on the already weakened frame rail.


I learned both of the above lessons when they happened to my '69.  Both spots were repaired many years ago--replacement pedal bucket and replacement last two feet of the frame rail.   



'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Is it possible to drop the subframe about an inch or two to make repairs easier?  I’m sure the driver’s frame rail needs completely replaced but I would like to strongly “patch” this and do the whole frame rail when I drop the subframe/engine/trans.  My metal skills are enough to do a temporary sound patch job, and handle the full replacement later.

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If it was me I think I would do the repair once and do it right!


I have a feeling you're going to find more rust and other things that need attention.


I would suggest dropping the whole engine transmission and subframe as one unit. It can be done with a motorcycle/ATV jack.

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Some more work to clean up things for welding (that tar sh!+ sucks), then I can start the cardboard pattern fun.  I'm gonna go further left to find good metal.  I'm pretty sure the fuel return line runs down that area so, I will be sure to protect it.  I also realized that 16 gauge steel is likely too thick.  I would be ok with +0.005" over gauge, but not 0.015" over.  I am going to reinforce the ring around the pedal box mount on the inside.


IMG_1033 3.JPG

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Looks good so far, if that’s the extent of  the damage there you are lucky.

The frame rail will be more of a pain, you could probably box in that area IF it’s not rusty on the inside,  if so it may not be solid enough to weld.
You can lower the subframe/engine  a bit but still have to separate the  steering coupler, trans mount, coolant hoses , clutch  MC  to slave  cyl as well as struts top or bottom.  
Not all that much more( exhaust at down pipe, driveshaft coupler bolts, a few wires) and you could lower the whole shebang onto a furniture dolly and roll it out of your way.


Edited by tech71
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76 2002 Survivor

71 2002 Franzi

85 318i  Doris

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  • 2 weeks later...

Strong > pretty any day!


No one sees down there and it looks stout. Nice work.



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1973 2002tii (2764167), Baikal, sunroof, A/C, 5spd OD, 3.91 LSD, etc. Rebuild blog here!

In the past: Verona H&B 1973 2002tii (2762913); Malaga 1975 2002; White 1975 2002

--> Blog: Repro tii cold start relay;   --> If you need an Alpina A4 tuning manual, PM me!


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